MFA and COVID19 Update – February 28, 2021
By Dr. Bill Honigman, PDA Healthcare Human Rights, Coordinator – Progressive Democrats of America
This week worldwide total cases of #COVID19 saw a leveling off of the recently decreasing numbers in many countries including the US, and even a slight increase in the next leading countries of prevalence, India and Brazil, with 2.7 million total new cases this week compared to last week’s 2.5 million total new cases.
However, the rate of vaccinations worldwide did pick up a bit with almost 40 million total vaccine shots given this week compared to last week’s 29 million. Global vaccine supplies remain a significant social justice issue in particular for developing nations that the US is only just now catching up on in taking any kind of role in mitigation.
And as has now been well publicized, the US did pass the half million total COVID19 death count this week, still leading the world with about 20% of total deaths and only 4% of the world population. Both shameful and outrageous.
Vaccine doses here in the US, did pick up from about 9 million last week to about 13 million this week, and would have been more yet, if not for extreme cold weather that impacted especially the transportation of supplies nationwide. Again, and 180 degrees contrary to the argument of Texas Gov. Greg Abbott and his Fox News OpEd spin-makers, a strong argument for the #GreenNewDeal, not against it.
And looking to the week ahead, with the FDA’s approval now of the new J&J vaccine, we can expect much higher vaccination rates here and abroad, which is crucial as we know in the race to suppress overall numbers of the coronavirus especially with regards to the proliferation of the new more contagious variants now on scene virtually everywhere.
Our vigilance is as yet required even once vaccinated, as was simply put by one public health official that I heard recently, that until we are all vaccinated, this only adds one layer of extra protection for any one of us. So, we shouldn’t stop all of the other methods of protection-mask wearing, social distancing, no gathering-until we reach that long awaited overall state of herd immunity by mass vaccination.
Meanwhile still at about 2,000 US COVID deaths per day and the untold suffering and loss inflicted by institutional neglect and favoritism based on race and class in this country, what can we do to not only mitigate the damage caused by having profit-first commercial interests prioritizing Healthcare decision-making in this country that we are now experiencing with COVID19, but also that will prepare us for the next public health emergencies coming our way due to climate change? Of course, we know the answer is #SinglePayer expanded and improved #MedicareForAll.
Especially the “for All” part of it, that eliminates the structural biases created by monopoly capitalism, and puts we the people in charge of our national Public Health, once and for all. What a concept?
And for that, we’ll also need truth, racial healing, and transformation, a discussion about reparations, guaranteed housing, education, jobs, food security, and living wages, and the immediate mobilization required to produce clean renewable energy and a sustainable and livable environment.
Too much to ask for? Only if we want to exist, and only to honor our long-held pledge for life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.